tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 22, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
, i'm just not going to be in a position to offer campaign advice from the podium here. we are focused on the people's business. about --are questions let he say it this way. it thisme say way, each of the candidates are allowed to make their own case about what value they place on transparency and what steps they take to be transparent. certainly -- i am just going to stop there. [laughter] >> i would just say the president of the united states. of them saying it's each individual campaigns, i am quite limited and what i can say about campaigns.ual -- in what i can say about the individual campaigns.
confident that they would have a very strong, fact-based case about how much more thenparent they are being component. that is the case that i will let them make. what i will do is i will make an case about what president obama has done to bring transparency into the administration. made the case repeatedly the obama administration is the most transparent administration in history. it is also the job of all of you notion and the purpose for more access and to enough. is not president obama has clearly made this priority, and he is hoping presidents will as well. topic.rate the last few weeks e-mails have been released about a variety of places showing hillary clinton
e-mails or e-mail showing the , executivendation directive -- director officials cases sought a access at the state department. i am wondering, because of the agreement, do you all have problems with that. violate the actual alliance of the agreement, many say it violates the spirit of the agreement. >> i am actually not going to get into that. was -- there is an place welln secretary clinton was at the state department that did go above and beyond state ethics requirements, specifically as it relates to the clinton namely foundation. e-mails exchanged between department officials and theviduals at
administration -- i understand that, this falls with ethics attorneys at the state department. i will let state department officials talk about e-mails from state department e-mails. >> earlier you suggested we were -[indiscernible] for the sake of clarity can you for me the white house understanding and the delegation between leverage and ransom? speaker: i was not trying to imply any sort of lack of art or of the on the part question. the observation i am making is there related to the series of agreement. the question you are asking about the safety of american students being released, how we can verify the changes to the
program, about the for releasing these whatcan citizens prisoners were released in thosege for them, all of went into the question and all of them work answered in detail, cases on the record and other cases particularly as it prisoners the released, there were statements issued and information provided by the department of justice. i'm making is there was not just a failure on the part of the press corps, this is extraordinarily complex and a that people were interested in, and i think understanding the kinds of outlined it i just think would have an impact on people's appraisal of the we ares of the approach
pursuit. the point i'm making is the kind of details we are talking about now well might be interesting fodder for a read in spy novel on the beach do not change our itessment about what actually was concluded and how the united states benefit from the conclusion of the series of agreement. >> what is the difference leverage?ransom and the idea is this. the united states was pursuing different agreements trying to result three different .ssues with the iranians the nuclear agreement was one ,hat secretary kerry and others ambassador randy shulman among years, many sleepless nights trying to negotiate. that went into effect .mplementation that
that was the day before of the release of american citizens of the day before the completion of settlement.l what's we have made clear is that the american citizens in a wrong who were unjustly -- in iran were unjustly detained in states. in the united these are individuals convicted of crimes like trying to place.ent sanctions in separateillion was a settlement. >> where does the timing and the common? come in? mr. earnest: what i am saying is what we make clear to the iranians is that we expected them to navigate the complexities of all of this.
we were doing our part to prisoners. seven there are also seven other individuals who had notices against them dropped. this is a complicated arrangement, and we expect them their agreement. is there a difference between a ransom and leverage? quibbleest: i guess i with this because -- we have been doing that for not asking precise questions. the president said no ransoms. the state department has said leverage was paid. if there is no distinction, , but we no distinction are giving you a chance to say between a distinction
in paying for the release of unjustly detained individuals. that is not what occurred here. what occurred here is a mutual prisoner release. we brought them home. the united states released seven individuals who have been convicted of crimes who were being held here in the united states. we will catch you up on the details. i don't know if they had all been convicted. some of them had been held here in u.s. prisons because they
were either convicted of or accused of a crime. >> the definition of ransom or leverage is? mr. earnest: it is not what i would use. we have been quite clear exactly about what led to all of this. >> earlier you were quite clear you were proud of the entire agreement. where you proud that leveraged was used? mr. earnest: that is not the words that i used. we're crowd -- crowd either benefits to the american people and quite proud of the way we're prevented haram from developing nuclear weapons, cooperate with --ly describe the delay in time? is leverage does not work, ransom does not work, what works? what works is a wrong release for individuals that were being unjustly for the exchange of seven individuals in the united states. that is a direct exchange that occurred. quest how would you describe the arrangement echo mr. earnest: i just did. four people. and there them home were seven people being detained we release them. people describe this as a quid pro quo. releasedased for, we seven. >> you are not using the term leverage. you want to disavow? >> what is clear is this. the united states was much more concerned about completing the agreement to bring the unjustly billions home than
we were in reaching the financial -- financial settlement. the iranians had a much different -- may have had a different priority. them.uld have to ask it is clear what the priority was when it came to those transactions completed on the same day, but the reason we quibble with the notion of a is pretty straightforward. the quid pro quo was the release of four americans by iran in the exchange of seven prisoners in the united states. ok. >> i wanted to ask one question about hillary clinton. going forward, is the president concerned now there is enough confusion about what you described as very complex. that the perception in the united states and around the united statesthe has different policy, and that might put americans and
way in terms of making a ore to being detained hostage in the future? mr. earnest: i would acknowledge and i think we have all acknowledge the situation is complex, but there is no confusion, the president has been clear that the united states does not pay ransoms, and -- and the president said it in as much a couple of weeks ago. he said it live on television and said it straight from the president's mouth. that is the policy of the united states, the policy for which the states has been criticized on a couple of occasions. the policy followed by previous presidents in both policy -- both parties. as a relates to those trying to confusion, it is unfortunate that they try to do so but i understand they have a political motive. to the rightg
wingers in a wrong and right united states. right-wingers in the united states. this is not a new phenomenon. it is not different that the right-wingers are making basically the same argument as the republicans in the united .tates that is not new. it is also not new that the president has been unambiguous the policy not to pay ransom. >> is it too early to suggest be a for additional federal assistance that the president will need to work with on? is there been a discussion. i am wondering if it is too early that that might be a
discussion you go >> i am certainly not aware of any discussions that have taken .lace as far obviously the president will an chance to visit firsthand when he visits tomorrow. as we make more , it will become clear what exactly the price tag is, and clear what sort of support the people of louisiana and state of louisiana need. the administration is committed louisiana andth the people of louisiana in this difficult time. if the past is any guide, after several days here, the attention away, but this will be focused on standing with the people of .ouisiana that is a commitment the
this includes provisions that allows the united states to higher labor standards and even higher human rights standards. it also gives the united states businesses here's -- and businesses here to give a more even playing field. the president is concerned if united states does not engage in this way, we are only for china touum fill. we know that china is in touch for other countries trying to deals.te their own trade real risk united states gets cut out of the deal. looking for a higher standard when it comes to workers rights. is not looking for a higher standard when it comes to workers rights. they are willing to put the united states and workers at a bigger disadvantage. that is the challenge here.
presidente case the will be making to members of congress and will continue to until it gets done. the president certainly hopeful it will get done before he leaves office. >> is there anything on the schedule related? >> nothing in terms of travel at this point to talk about. we will keep you posted. related? >> nothing in terms of travel at this point to talk about. we will keep you posted. regarding the kurdish targets in northern syria. against the islamic this something that is part of a coordinated effort? >> i can tell you i do not have any civic military operations to
talk to you about. let me say it this way, i do not militaryific turkish operations to talk to you about. our policy has been we certainly allies, our nato allies in turkey as they confront terrorism. face terrorism from up for of sources, including most recently and tragically over the weekend where there was a bombing at a wedding of all dozens of people were killed. so the threat that turkey faces real.xtremism is very thee are variety of step united states has taken to support our allies. that will be part of the message vice president biden will convey travels later this week.
>> again, i have no new details of turkish military operations that i will talk about from here. obviously there are concerns the turks have raised about kurdish activities. we have discussed the way in which the united states of week. >>numbers of the coalition have been able to work effectively coalitionyrian air inside of syria. extraordinarily complex situation. clear that everyone who is involved, including turkey, should make going after isis the top priority. and turkey, to their credit, has made clear the commitment to doing that and a variety of including given the united states access to certain military facilities inside of us to take allows
strikes efficiently against isis targets. case directlyhat and will continue to do that, even as we're thatul of the terrorists emanate from elsewhere. >> [indiscernible] i will not talk about any turkish military movements. we had made clear all along one of the priorities has been turks to make more in securingrogress the border. of progressde a lot over the past six or nine months. we welcome them doing that. is a nato ally in making
a valuable contribution to our counter coalition, and we will continue to court may let them closely as they do that. that is certainly part of vice president biden's visit to the country later this week. thanks a lot. >> congress has another couple of weeks left before the summer recess is over and coming back hill.itol here is what some members are doing. patrick leahy and for mott state police announced a combat task heroism combat trafficking. combat hair whentrafficking. eroi trafficking.
hooverressman logan fourth-grader from juvenile.ille about -- juvenile diabetes. that is mark meadows. the american enterprise institute will host a discussion on some of the people most enact that for the of a welfare of all, including john engler of michigan and thompson. also, jim talent. coverage against at 3:00 eastern here on c-span. for campaign 2016, c-span continues on the road to the white house. >> we need serious leadership. this is not a reality tv show, gets.as real as it >> we will make america great .gain >> ahead, live coverage of the
presidential and vice presidential debate on c-span and www.c-span.org monday, will be the first presidential debate. tim kaine will debate of longwood university. st. louis will host the second presidential debate leading up to the third and final debate between hillary clinton and donald trump taking place at the university of nevada las vegas 19.ctober live coverage of the presidential and vice on to spam. debates listen live on the c-span radio at or listen anytime www.c-span.org. 100 years ago president woodrow wilson signed a bill creating
the national parks service. look back on the past century of these caretakers of america's natural and places. take yout the day we to national park service sites across the country as recorded by c-span. seven :00 eastern we're live from the national park service's most visited historic home. join us with your phone calls as we talk with robert stanton, former national park service director and brandon buys, the former -- the current arlington site director. thursday, the 100th anniversary of the national park service house at arlington 7:00 eastern on american history tv on c-span3. joining us now, tom fenton.
for those who do not know, what is your foundation. we find out what the government is up to and tell the people about it. we do that by the freedom of information act. theet documents about what government is doing great if they don't turn over the documents to you or a new -- ignore you you can see them in federal court. , that process is one of your claims of fame with hillary clinton's e-mails. guest: we were asking things like benghazi, the special gamete -- government employees. they were not giving us clinton's e-mails. we had this revelation through
the benghazi litigation where we pushed for the documents and they finally admitted there were documents, and it turns out it was clinton's e-mails. ,ne of our cases was reopened which led to discovery and texted by clinton aides and state department-ish -- officials. written testimony was released through judicial watch. host: the headlines from one of those stories said the judge would not allow the upper -- deposition of mrs. clinton. looking for that because it is the best way to find out information from someone. other officials had already testified.
it was a commonsense request to ask for her testimony. i thought the judge realized official,as a high it's not exactly everything we wanted but certainly it is more what mrs. clinton wanted to do. now she has to answer questions under both in written forms. we will be submitting russians to mrs. clinton and she has 30 days to respond. host: will this information then come out to the public for election day? guest: presumably. we will be filing with the court as well. it will be available to the american people area host: what are you looking for? what is it about this process that is different? ofst: the freedom information act would have covered mrs. clinton's e-mail.
itre was a problem getting search. the court has been upset at the way the law has been a banded i mrs. clinton's e-mail practices. it, it is of interest to the court. host: our guest joining us to talk about the process you have heard about, if you want to ask them questions it is 202-748-8001 for republicans, for democrats 202-748-8000 and for independents 202-748-8002. the judges decision and about secretary clinton in -- providing responses, we want to get your response. deadlinee judges set a whereby the group in question
did submit those. will get toecretary work right away on answering them. let's step back and look at the origin of all of this. the right wing and republicans in congress are not fans by what the answer that the career professionals and the justice department gave us. they said there was no case. this is an example of a right wing group trying to keep the questions coming here the american people have all the information. the e-mails have been released. they have enough to make a judgment at this point. we at the campaign want to talk about the issues that people care about, like jobs, college affordability and health care. >> that some like a note. >> if the judge asked her to answer the question she will get to work right away to get the questions answered. that people have all the
information, how do you respond to that. guest: the clinton camp try to make this argument to the court. and the court rejected it. what i hear there is no wiggle room as to whether they will even respond as required by the court. ison't know, the other thing that we have all these e-mails coming out that led the clinton foundation to say eventually they will stop taking donations. that's a result of e-mail disclosures by judicial watch. juvenile anding is a surprising. i don't know why they're screaming about judicial watch when it is the court requiring them to answer the question. we have to make sure we have all of our ducks in a row.
we will look at those very carefully and recognizing there's a 30 day window for mrs. clinton to respond. we will move quickly. host: is her process that she can hold off? guest: it sounds like they're objecting to some of the russians and we may not get the answers to what we were seeking. -- objecting to some of the questions. let's hear from pat from florida, democrats line. hearde on with tom fenton --. caller: judicial watch, thank you for your work. the frosting on the cake for the clintons. any other realistic election 20 years ago, 15 years ago, she wouldn't have a political life
are there would be nothing that she would probably be indicted for these things. i come from a back around 60 years ago to be able to vote in therado and i went through , tophone playing president put a line through glass-steagall. here are e-mails that blatantly show that the foundation took foreign donations when she was secretary of state. there is no way on god's green earth this would have been allowed in any other era. this fish stinks from the head down. if she is tied to blame all the subordinates below her, the dnc in the foundation managers for doing this, this will be a disaster for politics in america. host: thank you.
it's interesting that there's concern about mrs. clinton, we have seen that a lot, people of the left that were not concerned about the government who had concerned about -- concerns about her. real law has to apply whether or not they are running for office. host: from michigan, independent line, steve is up next. good morning. go ahead. caller: good morning. i wanted to ask is german what his -- gentleman what his career is. everybody that crosses the committing the suicide or in a plane crash. i'm not worried about
that. we have been battling clinton corruption since the 1990's, as she will be happy to tell you. mrs. linton is someone who scares people sometimes because of her misconduct. i'm not terribly concerned about that. host: democrat from windsor, maryland. caller: i'm at first a christian. what you guys are talking about this is a way to derail mrs. clinton. are you just doing this so you can get a little bit more work nottrump, why are you guys
investigating mr. trump on the university? can you tell me one single thing clinton has done that has given -- somebody who lost a job -- i will take my answer from you are you this is all a creation of mrs. clinton appeared we did not know about the e-mails. it was the revelations last year that led to our pursuing this. we were not sure if she was running or all this. -- we had a right to these records whether or not she ran for office. it is mrs. clinton was trying to offend the system, and the state
department is slow walking the release of these records. the election is intruding on the rule of law here. we are trying to stop that from happening by getting answers in a timely way that we should have gotten in some cases years ago. but she hid her e-mails and these are the concert wants is for when you do something wrong or it -- when you do something wrong. these are circumstances of her own making. we are always looking at mr. trump. he will see what happens there. i don't find many complaints about his university. lawsuit a class action which deserve skepticism. he has testified on the -- under a. -- under both. both.
as things come up in the news we are looking at them and trying to eager out what it is we can do to uncover government documents of his operations or conduct. host: massachusetts on the republican line. pam, go ahead. i want to thank tom for everything he is doing. . one of the conversations and names that came up between the clinton, the state department and the foundation was --. who is he and why is the important? guest: he's a lebanese business plan -- businessman who paid 10 million dollars to settle charges of political malfeasance who was a major donor to the
clinton foundation. he pledged one million dollars for a global initiative row foundation.obal he tried to get a meeting with a top official in lebanon and the state department. he got special attention from the state department. host: guest: mrs. clinton made some promises relating to keep a separate wall from the foundation and state department business. question where it
was illegally used to benefit a since the man or the foundation. host: the washington post editors said the behavior depicted in the e-mails -- they conduct of diplomacy. guest: that's just a naive point of view. everyone knew policy and to the clinton foundation and by giving money directly to them during her tenure. that's why her fees skyrocketed while she was eight. that's why her foundation increased its activity. politicians abroad see this as an opportunity to reference through accessing our
uranium market. releasingaterial today showing that crown prince of bahrain went through clinton in order to obtain a meeting with clinton. is essentiallye a foreign head of a government. she couldn't get a meeting through official channels and had to go through the foundation's. billion to the clinton foundation's global initiatives. host: what happens today? has uncovered e-mails that this is clint -- that mrs. clinton tried to hide from the american people. they promise to give them priority because we have freedom of information act pending.
50,000 e-mails were released. we will try to get the documents and see how ugly the government is willing to turn them over to us. anything of particular interest to you? host: we don't know what they are and. be howthe debate will quickly they can be released or in --. now we are talking potentially every 15,000 more e-mails being subject to review. david from vermont, independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. i just wanted to ask about not tor, is decision recommend an indictment when he
couldn't show intent. all classified information sent to her knowingly and willingly unsecured and unauthorized e-mail server which we know because the ag of the state department told us to achieve knowingly told her subordinate in the state department to ,emove classified information to have it sent to her e-mail server which she knew she did not have permission to have. she claims she didn't send or receive less a fight information but we have an e-mail showing to send it to her e-mails. you.: i agree with
the investigation that the statement was half a. it was political. he essentially concluded she violated the law but she shouldn't be prosecuted because it wouldn't a fair. i don't understand how that should be the appropriate response to the misconduct. host: oklahoma, democrats line. glenn, good morning. that hillary is guilty. government, especially obama is helping her. he is covering up so she can get the president. host: that's glenn in oklahoma. guest: i agree politics are
intruding on the administration of justice by the state and often times you see the department of justice and the state of art meant trying to defend everything mrs. clinton did. republican line, tom in virginia. you're next. caller: i've been following judicial watch for a long time. going and doing the work you do. guest: thank you very much. supportunded with the of the american people. we have 400,000 supporters. can go to judicial watch.org and support us that way. judicial watch.org and you can find more information about that. a couple of members of the house are taking a look. what do you think about
judiciary chairman and the oversight chairman on this. do you think that will get anywhere? guest: i don't know if it will get anywhere concerning the justice department. lynch meetingta bill clinton is so much consternation. this is a good example of why the f investigation was so half a. -- half baked. they have to come back and asked them to do an investigation 101 that they should have done initially. i think a new justice department will have to look up his criminal conduct -- potential criminal conduct of mrs. clinton. the state department should do
it. -- justice department. we have to have an expectation that an independent serious criminal investigation due to the allegations it --. is from bothon political parties is it doesn't matter who is in office. there is an x lactation -- expectation that it should be done and that justice is being fully administered. just because mrs. clinton wins we should not assume that there won't be a further investigation by the justice department. wisconsin on our democrats line, diana. caller: i kind of think it is a sad day for our country when you have a group of people such as that you do, which i'm sure you
mean well, but you question the integrity and the honesty of an f ei person who has been elected by republicans and democrats. you question everything. the only thing you don't question as far as i'm concerned is donald trump. if he is supposed to be president why are you not pursuing his taxes? why are you not looking into sexual allegations? why are you missing this university inc.. that's a rip off to the american people. -- you should be pursuing this as strongly as you are all the questions that people are throwing out there about donald trump. you are looking at the screen right now and years filing like this is funny. it's not.
important decision for the people in this country. i think you need to take as many days or months or years or whatever that you have since 1990 you said you have been filing questions. on one side of your face you say that in the you said we just found out about this. you can't have it both ways. you can't say you have been pursuing her sense 1990, or both of them since 1990 and then recently found out this or that. spent a getting at is lot of time on donald trump, please. host: mrs. clinton was secretary of state. we have the vehicle to access that information. my view is that we don't just go after someone or maketh equivocation between conduct
is a politician. talk about mr. trump's university issue may be interesting in a political -- way, but the rule of law was complied with the administration by the united states of america. and by hillary linton who was secretary of state. mr. trump was never a government official. it is much harder to get conduction about his than it is mrs. clinton. in the clinton years when we were founded in 1994, people said we were anti-clinton. george w. bush's administration twice as much as the clintons administration. believe me, depending on how the out, we willn
continue our government accountability activities no matter who is in office. we are not naive that a change in party will lead to a change in the culture of corruption. of information were you looking forward the former vice president cheney? guest: we challenge the administration's policy on security. he brought in energy lobbyists and all sorts of people to energy. he discussed operations. litigation before judge sullivan , a judge appointed by president clinton himself. we fought and won and lost and we lost before the supreme court but we got tens of thousands of documents out of the administration. it was a victory for george
bush. it made a change in the freedom .f information or -- act it made it more open. there was good reason president obama ran to be the most transparent president in history, promising to be, because of the bush secrecy. unfortunately, it turned out president obama has been about as secretive as you can get. host: when you make a request how long does it take to get a response? guest: it depends it depends onw forthcoming government wants to be. under law, they are supposed to respond within 20 days or so. wait -- we are willing to wait a few months because we know that government takes a long time. to getwe have to sue them to tell us yes or no.
the more politically sensitive the request, the more difficult it is to get information in a timely way, and that is why we are often in court. we sue to the and them -- the administration over 300 times to get information under the act. host: is it highly redacted? guest: it depends. topic of national security, it will often be highly redacted. that is something that is the administration is not required to do, but they choose to do it. host: this is dena on our and underline. -- independent line. caller: those e-mails the clinton has, are -- even though they knew that she
was deleting e-mails and had privilege to confidential they hadon even though the capacity to get into those e-mails. the second question is, with the benghazi e-mails that she sent her daughter, chelsea, telling her that we were under attack and that night, the people, was in that enough information to get her indicted? i think it was scandalous, but not enough to get her indicted. her lawyers arguing on her behalf also looked at the e-mails, and i don't know if they deleted them or not.
they did have access to the e-mails the caller was concerned about and other people expressed concerned about their access and whether they should have had the access that was given. evidently the justice department does not think that is a big deal. host: the written statement you received from mrs. clinton, did she pen it herself? guest: my guess is the lawyers would help her, but in the end, she is responsible for them and it is for the purpose -- purposes of the court and it should be assumed that when she gives her answers, they are her answers under penalty of perjury. she is directly responsible for her answers. host: richard in louisville, thank you for calling, republican line. caller: when bill clinton was president, there was a guy named rich, mark rich, who fled the country.
i don't know what his crimes were, but it was bad enough to where he had to leave his country and go overseas and couple of days before bill clinton left, he pardoned the guy. now i find out that there is a -- am id security saying that right? guest: i think so. caller: a business partner of that business partner of rich? guest: i have read reports about that. caller: that this guy is a partner of mark rich, and now he is making millions with hillary clinton while she was in the state department, and gave money to the clinton foundation. this past january, i changed parties. i was a democrat for 44 years
and i changed parties so that i could vote in the republican primary in kentucky. i voted for ted cruz, but i promise you i will not vote democrat because of this terrible way that bill and hillary clinton have treated this country. i was aamed to say that democrat, thank you very much. guest: it is interesting that this is someone that bill clinton may pal around with, let alone the state department would give the time of day to. host: to the meeting ever take place? -- did the meeting ever take place? guest: we don't know. query -- said the she was going to reach out to this gentleman, and he said at our member meeting with him or
that it happened, but in our view, we want the documents, so we are asking documents about that meeting to see if it did happen. host: line for democrats. melvin from south carolina. caller: good morning. and i am anrat, american, part of the american people that you are talking about. talk aboutu guys these e-mails, the more you make us vote for hillary even more. the lady has been on there for 11 hours, and you guys just pick and pick and there is nothing there. are you guys that big of a sore loser that you can't accept defeat? andnot leave the lady alone we could be doing progress with this country. people need to get on and get a life.
guest: we think the public interest demands accountability for ms. clinton's misconduct on this e-mail scandal, and partisans who support her may be turned off by that, but this is a nonpartisan enterprise, and we would be doing this whether or not she was running for office, and i have a feeling we would have an easier time getting access to these e-mails if she were not running for the presidency, but as a result, it is impacting the process. host: he called your efforts a waste of time. guest: it has led to the shutting down of the clinton global initiative, that was announced after the release of -- a little the foundation announcing it was no longer take for donations, there has been a lot of back and or the about whether that is a serious proposal and why they did not do that before. if it was just judicial watch, and we did not have anything to
back this up, why would the clintons personally change their foundation in response to our disclosures? it is a testament to our fine work, admittedly, but it's also a testament to the fact that these e-mails are really concerning to people across the political spectrum and you see editorials and it was the boston the pro --alled on foundation to shut down completely and stop taking donations. host: texas, independent line. they wanted to bring i hader poll numbers, but a bet with a friend of mine, thee does the -- where to attack take place, was of the cia headquarters or a safe house? there was an attack at a
special mission compound that was a cause i'd have diplomatic facility and later at the cia annex that was supporting our operations. caller: >> will go live now as a number of state health administrators and department officials take part in a series of panel discussions on the impact of the 1996 welfare law. the american enterprise institute is just getting underway. back-and-forth with the door open. he sees castle conferring with two or three other people. he says, that is out of protocol. you can't be dealing like that. you have to be on the up and up. he goes over to check it out.
he comes back in the closet and says, don't worry about it, they are talking about something else. says, i amntative such a suspicious person. i am a flawed individual. he concludes by saying god is not finished with me yet. i would love to work with a guy that has that kind of humility and it doesn't happen often. cosponsored by the secretary innovation group which about which ition am the executive director that has members that are human up 46%s secretary making of the country. and we deal with policy issues and programmatic issues and management issues. the unit -- from the university of maryland.
all right. here -- glad you're here. >> you were a lot nicer when you used to work for me. in three to go through minutes what happened between 1984 and 2001. president reagan made modest changes to the eligibility in the first budget bill. and three years later, 1984, charles murray published losing ground which created a lively debate and no introduction to this group is necessary.
professor larry mead who is with us today from new york university, just two years entitlement.beyond a basis for welfare reform. as a group of important thinkers convened by aei, they published the new consensus on family and welfare in which a bipartisan our cosponsors, was a primary author. and suggested both sides of the left and right could coalesce around the idea of mutual obligation. after members of the clinton administration, he concluded that society.
one of our panelists here today at wrote a long and influential article that became a book. at a wage slightly below minimum is the only way to promote work as a condition. 1988, official david a would proposed a two year time limit after which work is required for some sort of job guarantee. in 19 87, president reagan created the interagency low wasme advisory board that intended to be a one-stop shop for the states that wanted to pursue welfare reform waivers. the family support act was passed based on an education and
training model. unfortunately, the caseload went by about one third in the four years it was implemented. the results came in that seems to confirm, from california, a workforce deployment force yields better results from education and training. 1992, arkansas governor bill clinton ran on the promise to and welfare as we know it. the phrase the invention of of our panelists today with thought leadership emanating from the aggressive policy institute. forcears later, the task on welfare had three cochairs and had published work and responsibility act in the month of june, 1994. after the first two clinton years in 1990 four, newt
gingrich decided to nationalize the election with 10 promises made, one of which featured the 1990eform, and in four election, republicans took the house and senate and increased their statehouses from 19 to 30. and the contract bill was introduced in january of 1995. after that, there were several iterations of the bill. on the third try, president clinton signed a modified bill. including former deputy assistant who is with us today. immediately after the implementation of the bill, the big three indicators which are employment, dependency, and poverty all simultaneously moved strongly in the right direction. in the fourth out of wedlock
birth caused the increased rise. beencial legislation has as studied and as debated as the welfare reform legislation, which is one reason why 20 years later, we're still debating it. , with a few bullet helped, designed, and implemented the original coalition. mead and a by larry public school of public policy. they were at the forefront of that push and we have secretaries represented here. and with that, i will jump right in. , i have ahompson question for you. you were elected to start
serving in january of 1987. a long serving governor through 2001. in your election, you featured as a major policy platform that may have played a large role in defeating an incumbent. where did you get the idea that welfare reform is a major issue that would be worthy of featuring in your campaign. thank you, jason, for inviting the governor and myself . he and i competed against each other in michigan, wisconsin. he would refine it and make it better and i would steal it back. we had a tremendous contest going on who could do the best job possible and welfare reform.
it was a labor of love between both of us. understand the situation i remembered. the conservative republican, nobody thought had a chance to win whatsoever. the governor running for reelection, and i was the only governor that year to defeat an incumbent governor in the united states. we had a terrible problem in wisconsin. payments,e welfare any kind of causal relationship or response whatsoever. midwestrom all over the were coming to wisconsin to get on welfare reform. the new york times was following several of those individuals and wrote stories about them. mad -- there were
signs put up that says, if you want more money, all you have to do is pay $25 and get a madison andicket to get on welfare, cash your check and come back and live in chicago. if everybody is already here in wisconsin because of the welfare payments, he thought he was going to put me down. it was a line that got me a great deal of publicity throughout the state of wisconsin and we started welfare reform after we got elected. misusing and taking
advantage of the system that became a huge issue in wisconsin. wone were several reasons i that year, mostly economic. but the welfare reform ideas were starting to take form in wisconsin before any place else because other people were abusing the system. they were fed up in order to attract more people from other states. >> you jumped in with five demonstrations. it became well-known throughout the country. where did it come from? thatof the audience knows exempt teenagers and families including parents must attend school regularly in order to receive the full check.
>> i was sick and tired of building prisons in milwaukee. what i did is i invited welfare mothers to come to the executive residence and have lunch with me. ideas from welfare mothers. welfare mothers came and lunched with me. i am surprised the republican governor would invite them to the residents and talk about welfare reform. aboutgot to do something keeping our children in school. that was one of many ideas that came out of my lunches. >> governor, i have a question for you. you are the governor of michigan
from 1991 to 2003. when you took office, you inherited a budget deficit. you decided to and general assistance which was highly controversial at the time. what was your thinking? >> thank you to you and the innovation chiefs for having us all here today. it was signed by president clinton. quite a historic day. tommy, he wase the only one and i was the only one to beat an incumbent in 1990. he was from a larger town than me. there were no traffic lights.
there are $2 billion, and we were worried that one of the problems, michigan had been losing a lot of jobs. we didn't have much capacity to be raising revenue. too littleding it and we are not spending it very well. problems, itl the was a program for a single childless a dulled and states didn't even have the program. it would not have been in most of the country controversial. it was embedded in the michigan program for some time. we kept pointing out that we did safety nets there in terms of food stamps and help
benefits. and it was about 20 hours a week at minimum wage that would more than replace the general assistance. we removed people from needing assistance to more independence and you can start that by going to work. the first money you earn gets you that much closer to the day. that was the decision, that was just the beginning, one of the interesting things. this also became something i know that members of the majority switched and 94 and focused on the ability to create different kinds of partnerships. criticized that it
would lead to a dramatic rise. and it was clearly in an acceptable risk. one fellow that couldn't be here today is dr. jerry miller. he was very much involved, the counterpart in jerry had been .he budget director he had been down here with the state budget. was more than the state budget when he left. this is actually a bigger department. with the leadership of the salvation army, we could enter into a contract to work with us on homelessness.
they only had 100 plus years of experience there. that contract with stunningly successful because what we would do, we had these toll-free numbers. call the army. saw the tv camera going out and taking a shot of someone in the street and saying what is going to happen to this person. they would ask the press secretary and the governor. we came across this person. it was the work the salvation army did. had to deal itself with at little bit internally. they hadn't been in that level of interconnectedness with the governor.
and what is interesting, the biggest pushback we got from some of the people who needed help, i don't want to go to the salvation army because you have morning, theree are no chores to do. there are restrictions on my freedom here. anyway, that got us started. like tommy said, there was a tremendous competition in the early 90's. ask governor thompson about something that led to that competition. governor thompson, the reagan white house had an official, chuck hobbs, whose job it was to submitates think of and to the federal government for welfare.
he told me he didn't know if any governors were going to meet with him or pay attention to him. planed i got off the prop in harrisburg, pennsylvania, and the governor met with me. -- beginning in the late 80's. can you tell us what you're thinking was at the time? at the end, there's 45 states. he started in the late 1980's. did you know it would be a soon ami? >> i was doing one thing at a time but i was hoping for a soon ami. amtsunami.
>> i had a chance to talk to president reagan. he said i was unsuccessful. you and othern governors to come forward with good ideas. i have set it up to make it easy for you. i remember the conversation on a thursday afternoon in waukesha. he said, i'm counting on you to come up with new and innovative ideas. every time i call him, he was there. have president reagan, george bush, and i was the only that got through three presidents on welfare reform. everybody wanted to help and do something because they saw the problem like john and me and other governors that wanted to do something to change it. >> you set the dynamic because you had proposed one or two
every year. if you were opposed to welfare reform, you didn't get any rest in the state legislature. what do you think about that? tommy is right. memoirs as part of the reagan revolution. it is interesting, because we got started with president bush 41 in office. he was pretty stunning in 1992 to have a democratic candidate for president. talking about ending welfare as we know it. but that was a pretty decisive moment. there was no slacking off on waivers once president clinton
took office. sense, it validated what we had been doing. if you look from wisconsin and the northern industrial states, let's say the generosity of the welfare programs were somewhat less than what we had been dealing with in the northern states. if they are talking about welfare reform, we sure as heck got to be talking about welfare reform because the disparity is pretty significant. you were in 1995 and 1996, the critical year before the chair of the republican governors association.
what a team that was, one heck of a powerhouse. >> we call it the glory years. were looking for the maximum amount of flexibility. you said it's no better than liberal micromanagement. what is your current thinking about the relative balance between having strong work requirements while you also have a block grant as opposed to an unfettered block grant entirely. >> i believe the nations governors were in no way interested in some race to the bottom. i don't think that was ever a fair criticism.
we heard that from one part of the debate. hand, we had people that were supposed to be allies that wanted to give us a lot more help and direction. they had forgotten this concept that we were pretty keen on. it let the states work on this and let us try to solve some of these problems. competition among the states will give you some pretty good results. we didn't need conservative micromanagement as a replacement for liberal micromanagement. micromanagement was the problem. give us flexibility and let us try to solve the problems. , obviously, in 1995, you have a republican house for the first time in 40 years. speaker gingrich at incorporated welfare reform and it was part of that.
it probably has to be the speaker because he's navigating. you have different agendas. doing policy and big things as we talk about. and he invited governors to sit at the table and say, what do we need? bill weld was very much in reform mode and there were others out there. but we were able to bring some of the top staff people to the states. and worked with
guys. in the region of the first two bills that got vetoed. august, thein medicaid and out. we got the program gone. tanif replaced it. we got taken to the cleaners on maintenance and effort. it was insurance against the race to the bottom and i thought an overly restrictive maintenance of effort. it deprives us of flexibility. >> what you did with the flexibility you had which was createdtraordinary, you a welfare program in which everyone participated in work activity.
wisconsin works had no exemptions. you put out project zero in which the goal was to make certain that there were zero people at the end of the. doing nothing -- end of the period doing nothing. it was universal engagement. put people inyou categories of can work or can't work. guys both overrode that thinking with this universal engagement. >> people put themselves in the category of never work. .t was 1995 we changed the name we want to communicate to everyone that the support is expected to be transitional. we got some waivers on this.
pay, it used to be federal rules were ridiculous. we started getting a cut in benefits. how am i going to work? so we ended up in a situation where in michigan, the rule was the first $200, you have 200 more dollars. >> president clinton said if i don't get the bill i want to reform welfare, i will reform it one waiver at a time. governor thompson took him up on that. he handed a personal copy of the waiver request which he referenced on the subsequent saturday and said we are going to do this. if my memory serves me correctly, jason turner had something to do with this.
we got health care for their children. it would you go to work? i said, ok. what if we provide you with daycare. , but i gotes pregnant when i was 14 or 15 and a dropped out of school and i don't have any skills. what if i provide vocational education? they said yes, but most of the jobs are not in the neighborhood that i live. what if we provide transportation? mothers that welfare actually wanted to go to work if don't takee tools, the money away from them, put it back in. we asked the government to give us a waiver for the money we for health care and transportation and education. that is really the keys to making it.
if you give women the opportunity with tools, they will do it. and what at we did lot of governors did throughout america. >> the other group that gets engaged here is the case workers themselves. a lot of people will come into , they want to sincerely help people. they were keeping track of statistics. they were just doing data. was interesting. it different families had different needs. they didn't have the right clothes. you had all kinds of things going out but the case workers had to get to know the case and the family and the situation.
everybody who was on public , they were in a position where they were training to work in a volunteer situation. and we knew exactly what it would take to move that family to the next step. >> the biggest criticism today is that it is a funding stream and not a program. funds are going to other things. can each of you comment on that criticism? on that.ick
it is the lowest it has ever been. declined during that. there is other statistical evidence that it worked. governorsgue, let the maintain flexibility. block grantable to medicaid, i don't know what it would look like. we were the three republicans that sat endless hours. >> every time they leave the
room, they would send him back. >> we can buy it without medicaid. [talking over each other] [laughter] that, we would have had a lot. where we are today is, yes there is continued work to be done. it is not something like the president did. get the environment we , we had people on both ends. they were very troubled by different things.
case, look.made the there is one difference between us and the people in the think tanks. we are running programs. we are talking to people. the the men and women legislatures the chance. the other alternative isn't very good. go ahead. >> it did work. down and we had a caseload of over 100,000. we went below 10,000 of people on afdc. you got to management and you got to change it.
if you're going to make any program work, you've got to have people like john endler and jason turner make the change necessary to keep it going. it really did, they wanted it to work. we were very skeptical and we were very upset. it was the furthest thing from our mind. we wanted the best program possible. >> management is the key as well as policy. identify yourself, please.
>> my name is cheryl buford and i have my own consulting group. wondering about the impact of charitable choice as an amendment to the 96 welfare reform and what you saw as the impact of that. not sure i'm able to give you good analysis. the categorynder of whatever flex ability can be created. donever can be constitutionally or legally, i'm all for it. much of the charity was faith-based in the beginning. have no problem
going back to the people that are the most experienced. >> in recent years, there is discussion of tenant authorization. there is flexibility for education and training. you both talked about education and training. is there a way to think about work requirements and education and training? >> and for jobs that are available, don't train them for jobs.
interested in that it has done so much welfare reform. had you think the experiences translate. >> i think they are causal related. he was very much involved in jack camp. he is passionate about it like i was trying to change welfare for the better. not to save money but to actually give poor people an opportunity to get out and get into a meaningful job. wisconsin was leading the effort back then when he was starting to run for congress that he definitely carried that to washington and will continue to carry it to washington.
>> and you have a lot of governors like the two of you that bring things to congress and say, i want to do that. if we don't have manned from the bottom, we don't have anything to work with in congress. >> both of us labored in the andrity in the legislature we had the stomach for too many years a lot of things we didn't like. but atomic got to the governor's office, we had all these ideas. >> stand up, announce, and she will bring it to you. >> [inaudible] they are going to out punch the federal government. do you have enough faith that most states are led to deliver on that? [laughter]
>> that is why we are coming back. [laughter] >> we are as good once as we ever were. that's the song? >> let me be honest. >> the senators run for the right reasons. you will find exceptions but most governors, republicans and democrats, is dedicated to doing what is right for their state and their people. we have room for one, at most two. yes, in the back. just are talking and we will get it to you. i am with the pakistani spectacle. my question is when the -- within the context of the overall economy.
most people who have computers and the use of videos, but they get their electric supply cut off. is that a problem of mindset. >> people should pay their bills. it is fascinating to me that people will pay a phone bill but in detroit, they weren't paying the water bill because the city did not collect the water bill. people will make rational economic decisions. you are helping people try to move from poverty to independence. the great leader kind of working with families.
how do you manage money and how do you do these kinds of things in a co we realize you have to pay electric bills. were payingy electric bills, just not water bills. >> last question right there. >> i'm kathleen kelly frank. i worked in policy around welfare reform from 1985 to 1995. thompson, when you talk about you will reduce the welfare rolls from 100,000 to less than 10,000, are there any longitudinal studies documenting what happened to the 90,000? the family stability increase, children with better outcomes? did the parents get employment
to earn a living wage? did most or all of them simply drop out of the system? are there such studies? >> there is study after study of what took place during that time. the young lady over here was also part of it. >> two years or three years or four years after the implementation, the state went on to its computer system and tracked down everybody. andigure out what happened how many were still employed after two years. there is an extraordinarily high number that found employment in the 60's or 70's. we will get you that. we will get you that study. with that, the team is there.
>> we had a stronger economy. right now, i met the business roundtable. >> come on, john. no commercials. >> we measure these things and it is a very poor economic. what a difference the economy makes. there might be more jobs if we had a room more -- if we had a more robust economy. >> let me think the former rga and nga champion -- chairman.
with all kinds of topics associated with this, talking about the history and politics and process of the signing of this act. that is what the purpose is today. i will say one point about where i was. i can remember the very first briefing when leaders of the assembly and governor's office were brought together to brief about new york. i remember the career bureaucrats when they saw what was about to happen in new york state. happened.uld not have we have a distinguished group e are. -- group here.
we reached out to the most important member of the bill clinton administration. unfortunately, he could not attend. the second most important member on this issue. chief policyt, the advisor for president clinton. he has been the chief of staff for vice president biden and was the driving force for the bill in the clinton administration for the white house. will marshall represents one of our cosponsors. cofounded the council in 1985. it was the policy blueprint for clinton's democratic initiative. i want to say that this event is
emblematic of the old adage that winners write history. currently, the senior adviser was therepresentatives deputy assistant secretary for human services policy. he was one of those three top-level officials that resigned. others. history sometimes gets written by the winners. so i'm going to start off with bruce. it maybe the most obvious question of all. for was the main motivation
president clinton signing the first bill. to put in place big changes that would benefit americans that he truly believed in? or to help with upcoming campaigns? >> the campaign wasn't really a factor. by that point, bill clinton had been leading senator dole by 10 points. for a comfortable win no matter what he did. for bob dole never quite recovered from the government shutdowns and a booming economy. to debate what he should do, let's talk about the merits. he was from a poor state and he saw how much people wanted to do that.
it was pretty happy, given we were dealing with congress of the other party. we had real work requirements. had enforcement provisions and a strong maintenance of effort. we had performance incentives for states that did well. what made the decision more complicated was that a includedn congress had food stamps and immigrant benefit cuts. end, he felt that he was
pretty confident that he would be able to restore those benefit cuts and budget talks. he didn't think that it was at all clear that the historic chance whatever come around again. i think he was determined to keep the campaign promise to end welfare as we know it. >> can i follow up with one question? shaw hadink chairman the hope that he would veto? >> i don't think so. the welfare reform debate was a very contentious couple of years . it brought out some of the worst in washington and some of the best.
was?the war on poverty and certainly looking at the losing theat we were war on poverty. the family structure and unraveling. the system did not seem to be working. the family support act even though the republican regime at the time -- we were looking at it was a training paradigm. looking at exhausting manpower
studies i plowed through were marginal, at best. there was a large consensus spectrum that the welfareuo in quelve -- was unsustainable and needed to be changed. we disagreed over how to change it but not many people defending the status quo. in ourere die-hard folks party who said a little more money for education and jobs to, we'll get work. we never thought that would congealingthere was consensus in the country based on the evidence and the things doing.ernors were these were heroes of ours. we watched the reforms happening wisconsin and california and welfare-to-work moves enabled by and were impressed and fed the view we should change second point goes to values and this was very important to bill clinton's renovation of the democratic party's philosophy and that was not the old system seemed